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Grotto Sauna

Central Ontario

Partisans came to us with this experimental, sophisticated project: an old Italian grotto-like escape created by combining old-world craftsmanship and new-world sustainability. The challenge: design a structure that was completely prefabricated, trucked to port and shipped on a barge, before being craned onto an island.

The structure has a cedar exterior and sculpted cedar interior. For efficiency, it is wrapped in insulation and a layer of aluminum foil to create a convective air plenum. And the windows are double and triple glazed high efficiency annealed glass. Working in 3D, Moses Structural Engineers developed a structure that accounted for these systems and the logistics of assembly and shipping.


2014 Ontario Wood Award, Ontario Wood WORKS!

2014 BOY Award, Interior Design

2014 WAN Wood in Architecture Award – Top 6, World Architecture News

2015 OAA Design Excellence Award, Ontario Association of Architects

2015 Popular Choice Winner, Architizer A+ Awards


The Globe and Mail

Green Building and Sustainable Strategies Magazine

Architect Magazine

Daily Commercial News


Architect: PARTISANS

Photographer: Jonathan Friedman